2255. Anser brachyrhynchus

(2255) Anser brachyrhynchus.

The Pink mooted Goose.

Anser brachyrhynchus Baillon, Mem. Soc. Alb., p. 74 (1833) (Abbeville) ; Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 418.

Vernacular names. Rhai-hans (Oude).

Description. Generally a few white feathers on the forehead at the base of the bill; whole head, neck and upper part dark ash-brown, browner and darker on the crown; mantle and scapulars ashy grey-brown with light brown edges ; centre of back and rump darker brown ; sides of rump and upper tail-coverts white; some of the shorter tail-coverts sometimes brown; tail-feathers grey-brown with white tips and edges; inner wing-coverts and innermost secondaries ashy-grey; remaining wing-coverts darker ash-grey, the upper median more brown; median and greater coverts tipped whitish; primaries blackish-brown with white shafts and paler tips, the bases of the first few frosted with grey; outer secondaries blackish, narrowly edged and tipped with white; lower breast and abdomen ashy-brown, the feathers edged with whitish ; flanks brown, the feathers edged with white; thigh-coverts brown, vent and under tail-coverts white; axillaries and under wing-coverts brown.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown ; nail and base of bill black, the black extending down about half the culmen, embracing irregularly the nostril and then receding to the gape, base and tip of low mandible blackish, the rest of the bill rosy flesh-colour to deep rosy-pink; legs and feet rosy flesh-colour to rosy-red.

Measurements. Wing, 435 to 458 mm., 405 to 453 mm.; tail about 121 to 152 mm.; tarsus 69 to 77 mm.; culmen, 44 to 50 mm., 40 to 45 mm. ( Witherby).

Weight 6 1/2 to 7 1/4 lbs. {Alpheraky).

Distribution. Breeding Spitzbergen, Franz Josef Land and, possibly, other parts of Northern Europe in the Arctic Circle. Its reported breeding in Iceland has never been confirmed beyond all doubt.

Nidification. Jourdain* says that in Spitzbergen the Pink-footed Goose " is a widely distributed summer resident, and breeds in many places on the west and north-west coasts as well as in Ice Fjord, and has been met with in Barents Land, Edge Land, and King Charles Land. The nesting-sites vary considerably; many birds breed on ledges or grassy slopes on the face of cliffs by the sea; others on great expanses of shingle in open valleys, or on slightly raised terraces in almost flat swampy valleys several miles inland. Clutches found varied from 2 to 4 in number, but Le Roi records 5, 7 and, in one case 9, evidently by two females." Fifty Spitzbergen eggs measured by Jourdain average 79.1 X 52.9 mm.: maxima 95.7 X 52.0 and 82.6 x 58.3 mm. ; minima 70.8 x 49.0 and 71.3 x 48.0 mm.

The breeding-season seems to be from early June to the middle of July. Jourdain reports moulted primaries picked up as early as the 7th of July and birds in full moult and flightless on the 17th of that month. The moulting of the wing-quills never, I believe, commences until incubation is far advanced.

Habits. Similar to those of other Geese. Records of the occurrence of this goose in India are comparatively numerous but there can be little doubt that the great majority of these refer to the next bird, Anser neglectus or, perhaps, to some other Bean-Goose. In 1849 Blyth recorded the Pink-footed Goose in the Punjab ; in 1864 Hume shot two specimens believed to have been of this species in the Jumna and Irby recorded one having been killed near Lucknow in 1858. In 1879 Hume again records it. Graham records it as " not uncommon in Assam," whilst General McLeod says that in 1853 he shot one near Gurdaspur in the Punjab. The only record, however, which applies without doubt to the Pink-footed Goose is that of the one shot by one of my collectors in the Sarrma Valley, Assam. The small bill of this specimen, 40.6 mm., is alone sufficient to show that it was not one of the bigger Bean-Geese.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.6 1929.
Title in Book: 
2255. Anser brachyrhynchus
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Pink Mooted Goose
Pink-footed Goose
Anser brachyrhynchus
Vol. 6

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